Backed by IT industry giants that include Intel, and surrounded by several competitor solutions, all of whom harbor ambitions to become an industry standard, Certified Wireless USB will make its market debut later this year. First products are expected to be launched in the third quarter, and analysts are very optimistic about the technology – or at least the basic concept of a wireless USB. Citigroup, for example, predicts that 17 million Wireless USB devices will be sold this year, to be followed by 62.6 million in 2007 and 142.8 million in 2008. Nevertheless, there is a distinction to be made between Wireless USB and Certified Wireless USB, even though both started out on the road to broad acceptance with the support of Intel.
Certified Wireless USB has, as one of its ambitious rivals, Freescale Semiconductor's Cable-Free USB. Freescale's solution is an extension to wired USB, and the company tends to dismiss Certified Wireless USB as a completely new protocol and not USB at all.
DigiTimes.com recently had an opportunity to talk to Jeff Ravencraft, a technology strategist for Intel who also happens to be chairman and president of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). Ravencraft discussed what Certified Wireless USB is, its relationship to wired USB and the outlook for the future of the technology.